Tom Griscom Tells Civitans Of His Time In The Reagan White House

  • Saturday, March 2, 2024
Left to right are Brenda Thompson, Neal Thompson, program chairman;, Tom Griscom, speaker, and Civitan member retired U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel ,  Ben Bedford, who is a Chattanooga native and the first cousin x 3 of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest .
Left to right are Brenda Thompson, Neal Thompson, program chairman;, Tom Griscom, speaker, and Civitan member retired U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel , Ben Bedford, who is a Chattanooga native and the first cousin x 3 of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest .

Tom Griscom told tales on Friday at the Chattanooga Civitan weekly luncheon meeting of his time in the White House.

Mr. Griscom, a Chattanooga native, is well known nationwide as the former Director of Communications at the White House during President Ronald Reagan's last term in office.

The former newspaper man,got his start as a courthouse reporter for the Chattanooga News-Free Press.

Mr. Griscom talked about how and why Senator Howard Baker hired him in the early 1970s as his press secretary. He said it was mainly because he is 5 feet 6 inches tall, and Senator Baker was of the same height.

Mr. Griscom described to the audience his years of working very closely to the Republican Senator in Washington, D.C. when Mr. Baker was the Majority Leader for the Republicans in the U.S. Senate. He said that his job, now and then, is “how do you fix a problem.“.

Senator Baker left the U.S. Senate to become President Reagan’s Chief of Staff in the aftermath of the Contra Scandal. Their job was to fix his image with the American people, which they were successful in doing.

The Brainerd High school graduate of 1967 will be remember as the man who fought to have the famous quote that he personally wrote in Reagan’s speech in 1986 - “Mr. Gorbachov, Tear Down this Wall“ while making the historical speech at the Berlin Wall, which divided East and West Berlin.

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